A day at mysterious Angkor Temples
“Life is a book and people who do not travel read only one page” – St. August. Fortunately, I had chances to read more than one. I am enjoying filling in my book with various special and interesting stories of where I have travelled to. Remarkably, the most impressive story to me is not from a “Western Sky”, but our familiar neighbor – Cambodia. It is the story about the occult Angkor.
A day at mysterious Angkor Temples
Angkor Temples themselves have a great fame for their beauty and legends, it’s the reason why I had dreamed of visiting here, like you and everyone who has heard about it and seen its amazing images. Having decided to go to that holy land, I was looking forward to the day I took my first step on this sacred land. Finally, the day came true, a little tired from a long journey from Saigon, I still could not conceal my eagerness. Fingering the ragged piece of paper due to being opened for reading too much, I was excited to read my searched information – I have a habit to collect all the information about my destinations before travelling – again before beginning the trip to check how it is in reality.
Watching Siem Reap passing over the car’s window, I agreed that Siem Reap is deserved to be a City of Tourism in Cambodia. There are charming wide roads, sparse buildings which are not high and occupy large areas – everything is built with simple architecture, modern style and professional appearance, which made me more and more curious and kept wondering how “my Angkor” looks like – is it as magnificent and ancient as I expected?
I spent my very first moments in Siem Reap resting in a luxury hotel near the night market, thinking about the plan for visiting Angkor Temples, I could not delay my discovery anymore. I booked a Cambodia tours and they arranged a “tuk tuk” to get a glimpse inside the Cambodian culture as well as experience beautiful landscapes and fresh air, which latter was the wisest choice. We chose a little bit strange plan that visiting Angkor Thom, Bayon, Taprom Temple first, and then Angkor Wat later, however others normally choose Angkor Wat as the first destination in their itinerary in Siem Reap. If you don’t know why, please be patient until the end of our adventure, you will be surprised with this choice.
Sitting on the tuk tuk, I was enjoying fully the fresh atmosphere of Siem Reap. The little tuk tuk leaded us through a very beautiful forest with picturesque paths, both sides were green trees lines and pure lakes and reservoirs. I felt as if I was on the way to a secret world, or maybe being taken to the ancient Khmer Empire time. Inhaling the fresh air, watching vigorous power of growing trees, I began a faint feeling of the mysterious Angkor. It took a long way to reach the Angkor Thom. I was astounded that in a contemporary city, we still have a tranquil, ancient and isolated place like this. Now I know why Angkor Temples are so famous, they are not only beautiful but also located in an incredible location that could not be more perfect.
Angkor Thom startled me. The antique temple is swallowed by wild forest literally. It was located there, among thousand-year trees, maybe have observed our lives for centuries. I reminded myself to be purified before coming into the stone gate. It was such an inscrutable beauty. A strange feeling of cryptic was gradually occupying me, and I can’t believe in my own eyes that I was witnessing the remains of a glory empire since the 9th century. “Angkor Thom” in Khmer language means “the great city”- marked the glory of Khmer reign, was built in the 12th century by Jayavarman king. Although I was ambitious to tell you all about its mysterious history, it might be written in a hundred-page story, so it’s an impossible mission. The biggest impression of mine was the struggle between the eternal natural creatures and human achievements – it’s a strangest picture of deteriorating temples covered by forests. Enormous roots kept emerging from the ground, curling the big stones, gradually wresting them from centuries to centuries. They looked like enormous sacred snakes as in Cambodian religion – which obsessed me most after the trip. Are these “snakes” trying to ruin the temples as we saw or actually protecting them from outside world? Nobody knows.
How great the construction is and also how much vigorous power of time and nature has! Standing before the remains of Angkor Thom, don’t try to control your mind, because you might feel clearly how tiny the human beings are in this wide world. Long collapsed corridors were the place preserves the holy atmosphere of Khmer Reign the most. Moss-grown stones were incredibly perfect for those who were enjoying their photography passion. So, if you were an amateur tourist or an expert, a people searching for history, art or photography, you would be totally satisfied.
It was 3 pm. It’s ideal time for visiting Angkor Wat. Also, it was the time I revealed the reason that I asked for your patient waiting before. Angkor Wat faces to the West – so, the best time in day for you to enjoy its most beautiful image could not anytime but sunset. Magnificently and miraculously, Angkor Wat appeared in the mixture of orange and violet sun lights in the afternoon. The wide square in front of the 5 towers was being pouring a kind of strange colour, which made me hardly utter a word.
One more thing that I deeply paid attention since I came here was the way the Cambodian used their sacred animal – snakes in order to decorate their country. As being told before that they worship and adore snakes, I found it interesting to see all the long handrails and walls turning out a snake shape with a stylized growing head. Unlike Angkor Thom, Angkor Wat has proportionate design, which created a majestic sight. Insight the temple, each pattern, each architecture unit was delicately and skillfully sculptured. No images on wall pictures looked similar to the others, which I was so astounded.
I was waiting for that unique moment, when the sun sets. The mixture of colours began changing into red and violet. I could not see the big red sun going down, as people said that I could only see it from a hill 2 km far from here. But the “symphony of colours” I was witnessing there was too enough for me, and too deserved for my long trip. I finally satisfied myself with my dream.
A day at the holy land brought me a vast of emotion that I cannot describe with words, from curiosity to surprise, from exciting to a little sadness, from satisfied to regretted. Perhaps, it makes those who are interested in researching informative articles disappointed but can satisfy those who appreciate the first cherish emotion when travelling to a great destination.
Thank you for reading my story of “A day at mysterious Angkor Temples” , this was a mixture of emotions, hope you have a chance to experience the same feelings as mine in the future and make sure to get the latest Cambodia luxury travel